IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/uwp/jhriss/v37y2002i4p778-811.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Performance of Performance Standards

Author

Listed:
  • James J. Heckman
  • Carolyn Heinrich
  • Jeffrey Smith

Abstract

This paper examines the performance of the JTPA performance system, a widely emulated model for inducing efficiency in government organizations. We present a model of how performance incentives may distort bureaucratic decisions. We define cream skimming within the model. Two major empirical findings are (a) that the short-run measures used to monitor performance are weakly, and sometimes perversely, related to long-run impacts and (b) that the efficiency gains or losses from cream skimming are small. We find evidence that centers respond to performance standards.

Suggested Citation

  • James J. Heckman & Carolyn Heinrich & Jeffrey Smith, 2002. "The Performance of Performance Standards," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 778-811.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:37:y:2002:i:4:p:778-811
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/3069617
    Download Restriction: A subscripton is required to access pdf files. Pay per article is available.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cragg, Michael, 1997. "Performance Incentives in the Public Sector: Evidence from the Job Training Partnership Act," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 147-168, April.
    2. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey Smith & Nancy Clements, 1997. "Making The Most Out Of Programme Evaluations and Social Experiments: Accounting For Heterogeneity in Programme Impacts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 487-535.
    3. John Burghardt & Peter Z. Schochet, 2001. "National Job Corps Study: Impacts by Center Characteristics," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 79dc6705a88648e3881115389, Mathematica Policy Research.
    4. Hanushek, Eric A., 2002. "Publicly provided education," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 30, pages 2045-2141, Elsevier.
    5. James Heckman & Neil Hohmann & Jeffrey Smith & Michael Khoo, 2000. "Substitution and Dropout Bias in Social Experiments: A Study of an Influential Social Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 651-694.
    6. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 2004. "The Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Evidence from a Prototypical Job Training Program," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 243-298, April.
    7. James J. Heckman, 1991. "Randomization and Social Policy Evaluation Revisited," NBER Technical Working Papers 0107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. James Heckman & Jeffrey Smith & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Accounting For Dropouts In Evaluations Of Social Programs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 1-14, February.
    9. James Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explanations With A Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings With Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(1), pages 1-58, January.
    10. Kathryn H. Anderson & Richard V. Burkhauser & Jennie E. Raymond, 1993. "The Effect of Creaming on Placement Rates under the Job Training Partnership Act," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(4), pages 613-624, July.
    11. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith & Christopher Taber, 1996. "What Do Bureaucrats Do? The Effects of Performance Standards and Bureaucratic Preferences on Acceptance into the JTPA Program," NBER Working Papers 5535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Howard S. Bloom & Larry L. Orr & Stephen H. Bell & George Cave & Fred Doolittle & Winston Lin & Johannes M. Bos, 1997. "The Benefits and Costs of JTPA Title II-A Programs: Key Findings from the National Job Training Partnership Act Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 549-576.
    13. Robert S. Gay & Michael E. Borus, 1980. "Validating Performance Indicators for Employment and Training Programs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 15(1), pages 29-48.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Courty, Pascal & Kim, Do Han & Marschke, Gerald, 2011. "Curbing cream-skimming: Evidence on enrolment incentives," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 643-655, October.
    2. Courty, Pascal & Marschke, Gerald, 2004. "A General Test of Gaming," CEPR Discussion Papers 4514, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 2004. "The Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Evidence from a Prototypical Job Training Program," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 243-298, April.
    4. Pascal Courty & Gerald Marschke, 2004. "An Empirical Investigation of Gaming Responses to Explicit Performance Incentives," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 23-56, January.
    5. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097, Elsevier.
    6. James J. Heckman, 1991. "Randomization and Social Policy Evaluation Revisited," NBER Technical Working Papers 0107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Jeffrey Smith, 2000. "A Critical Survey of Empirical Methods for Evaluating Active Labor Market Policies," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 136(III), pages 247-268, September.
    8. Burt S. Barnow & Jeffrey Smith, 2015. "Employment and Training Programs," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, Volume 2, pages 127-234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. James J. Heckman, 1991. "Randomization and Social Policy Evaluation Revisited," NBER Technical Working Papers 0107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. James J. Heckman, 2008. "Econometric Causality," International Statistical Review, International Statistical Institute, vol. 76(1), pages 1-27, April.
    11. Pascal Courty & Gerald Marschke, 2003. "Making Government Accountable: Lessons from a Federal Job Training Program," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/083, The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol, UK.
    12. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
    13. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James, 2008. "A New Framework For The Analysis Of Inequality," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(S2), pages 315-354, September.
    14. Lisa M. Lynch, 2005. "Job loss: bridging the research and policy discussion," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, vol. 29(Q II), pages 29-37.
    15. Cockx, Bart & Bardoulat, Isabelle, 1999. "Vocational Training: Does it speed up the Transition Rate out of Unemployment ?," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 1999032, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    16. Smith, Jeffrey, 2000. "Evaluation aktiver Arbeitsmarktpolitik : Erfahrungen aus Nordamerika (Evaluating Avtive Labor Market Policies : Lessons from North America)," Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 33(3), pages 345-356.
    17. Rothstein, Jesse & von Wachter, Till, 2016. "Social Experiments in the Labor Market," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt6605k20b, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    18. Ozkan Eren & Serkan Ozbeklik, 2014. "Who Benefits From Job Corps? A Distributional Analysis Of An Active Labor Market Program," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(4), pages 586-611, June.
    19. David Card & Pablo Ibarrarán & Ferdinando Regalia & David Rosas-Shady & Yuri Soares, 2011. "The Labor Market Impacts of Youth Training in the Dominican Republic," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 267-300.
    20. Rothstein, Jesse & von Wachter, Till, 2016. "Social Experiments in the Labor Market," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6605k20b, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:37:y:2002:i:4:p:778-811. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://jhr.uwpress.org/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://jhr.uwpress.org/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.